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Apartment Cleaning Checklist: When to Clean What in Your New Home

Moving out on your own for the first time? Figuring out a comfortable cleaning schedule to make sure your place is spic-and-span (or clean enough for mom to pop by) all the time can be a challenge.

Cleaning doesn’t have to be overwhelming, but it can be if you leave it all until the last minute. You want to stay on top of cleaning tasks, so separating them into daily, weekly, monthly, and seasonal lists can make your life considerably easier.

Not sure where to start? No problem! We’ve built the ultimate apartment cleaning checklist compilation so you can build the perfect cleaning schedule for yourself.

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Apartment cleaning checklist

Daily tasks

Make the bed: if you start your day by making your bed, you’ll be off to a great start!

Wipe down the bathroom counter and sink: A quick wipe down of the sink, toilet, and shower/bathtub will do wonders for making your bathroom feel clean. It will also help reduce your deep cleaning time later in the week.

Do the dishes: don’t go to sleep with dirty dishes in the sink, that just means you have more to clean up tomorrow. If you’re lucky enough to have a dishwasher, you can simply rinse then put the dishes inside.

Wipe up any spills: clean up any messes as soon as they happen to prevent them from hardening and becoming more difficult to clean.

Sweep the floors: sweeping will help get rid of any dirt, dust, or crumbs that have accumulated throughout the day. You can leave mopping and/or vacuuming to a once-a-week task.

Laundry: Particularly if you have an in-suite washing machine, doing a load of laundry a day can make life considerably easier. If you don’t think is more of a weekly task!

Take out the trash: Make sure you take out the garbage every day, or you’ll start to notice a smell.

Put away clutter: Things get out of place all the time simply because you’re using them, take a few minutes every day just to put them back in their place. Long-term this’ll make your life easier and your space feel cleaner.

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Sweep/vacuum the floors: Whether you have hardwood floors or carpet, sweeping or vacuuming every day will help cut down on the amount of dirt and dust

Deep clean the bathroom: This means taking everything out of the shower/bathtub, toilet, and sink to really clean all the nooks and crannies. Check out our full bathroom cleaning guide for more details.

Do the laundry: If you have to head to a shared laundry room or the laundrymat , try to do it all in one go so you’re not making multiple trips throughout the week. If you can do it at home, you want to make sure you wash your sheets and towels on a weekly basis.

Mop floors: In addition to sweeping/vacuuming, you’ll want to mop your floors once a week. If you have hardwood floors, make sure you’re using the right cleaning solution so you don’t ruin them.

Wipe down surfaces: All the surfaces in your apartment — counters, tables, chairs, doorknobs, etc. — should be wiped down with a cleaning solution once a week.

Empty all the trash cans: You should have a trash can in every room (including the bathroom) and they should all be emptied once a week.

Wipe down the fridge: Take everything out of the fridge, throw away anything that’s expired, and give the shelves a good cleaning.

Clean out the car: At least once a week, you should be cleaning out your car to get rid of any trash that’s accumulated. If you have time, give it a good vacuuming as well.

Water the plants: If you have any plants in your apartment, make sure to give them a good watering once a week.

Wipe down microwave: Every few days, you should be giving your microwave a quick wipe down to prevent food splatters from hardening and becoming more difficult to clean.

Monthly tasks

Clean the oven: This is probably the most dreaded task on any apartment cleaning checklist, but it ‘s important to do every month or so. Don’t forget to scrub down the stovetop too!

Wash windows: You should be washing the outside of your windows at least once a month, but if you have time you can do the inside as well.

Wipe down doors, door frames, and light fixtures: These are all areas that tend to accumulate dust, so it’s important to wipe them down on a monthly basis.

Vacuum furniture: In addition to vacuuming the floors, you should also be vacuuming your furniture (including under the cushions!) on a monthly basis.

Clean trash cans: Just like you empty them every week, you should also give them a good cleaning on a monthly basis.

Wash rugs: If you have any area rugs in your apartment, make sure to wash them on a monthly basis.


Change air filters: You should be changing your air filters every few months, but if you live in an area with a lot of pollen or other allergens, you may need to do it more often.

Clean gutters: If your apartment complex has gutters, they’ll need to be cleaned on a seasonal basis.

Clean out closets: This is something you can do every season or so, depending on how much clothing you have. It’s a good opportunity to get rid of anything you don’t wear anymore.

Clean the freezer: Just like your fridge, you should be giving your freezer a good cleaning every few months.

Rotate and flip mattress: Every few months, you should be flipping and rotating your mattress to prevent it from getting too lumpy.

Check smoke detectors: This is something you should be doing on a monthly basis, but it’s also a good idea to check them at the beginning of each season.

Wash curtains: Seasonal changes are a good time to wash your curtains (or any other window treatments) to get rid of any dirt or dust that’s accumulated.

Change blankets/comforters: This depends on where you live, but if you live in a place with distinct seasons, you may want to change out your bedding to accommodate the weather.

How to clean any room

Let’s face it, cleaning is not most people’s idea of fun. However, a little bit of elbow grease can go a long way when it comes to keeping your home clean and tidy.

1. Put away clutter

The first step in cleaning any room is to put away any clutter that may be lying around. This will give you a clear space to work and make the rest of the task seem less daunting.

2. Clean counters and surfaces

Once the clutter is out of the way, you can focus on cleaning surfaces and washing floors. For surfaces, start with countertops and work your way down. Don’t forget to dust light fixtures, blinds, and other corners where dust tends to accumulate.

3. Wash the floor

When it comes to washing floors, it’s important to use the right product for the job. For example, tile floors can be easily damaged by harsh chemicals.

4. Straighten up

Once all the surfaces are clean and the floors are washed, take a few minutes to straighten up. This includes putting books back on shelves, hanging up towels, and making sure that everything is in its rightful place. A little bit of organization can go a long way in keeping a room clean.

By following these simple steps, you can easily transform any room in your home from messy to sparkling clean.

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